Poetry is an important phenomenon of culture, and the contribution of linguists in its study may be very significant. This requires a special structure that would take over the task of complex research of all linguistically relevant properties of poetry. A centre that would carry out and coordinate the study of language(s) of poetry, has not yet been set up, not only in Russia but also anywhere in the world.

The institution of a Centre of linguistic studies of the world poetry will make it possible to establish efficient interaction of theorists and practitioners, of linguists exploring different languages, scholars of various institutions and countries, interaction between linguists and literary critics; it will provide as well new opportunities for any type of comparative studies, research of potentiality, drawing text corpora, etc.

Major activities

1. Typological and historical research of the major languages of world poetry; description of poetry languages as subsystems of national languages; linguo-poetic research; theoretical study of the poetic discourse, including in the light of problems of inter-discursive interaction.

The language of poetry characterized by inherent potentiality demonstrates additional resources for further development of the national language; there is a need to explore the active processes in the contemporary poetry languages in a prospective aspect with a view to identify the potencies of development of national languages.

2. Typological research of poetics aimed at identifying trends towards change in the language and mentality in the present-day society.

Investigation of the problem of novation in poetry is of particular importance at this stage - as a reflection of new thinking that is manifested in an utterly formalized way in the language of poetry.

The language of poetry may be formalized as well in terms of the changed mentality resulting from the development of technology. Identification of invariants of linguistic innovations in the world poetry may help to comprehend the prospects of innovative and creative thinking within various fields of human activity.

3. Research of poetry of "rare languages" and dialects – with descriptive and typological purposes and with a view to identify the resources of cultural multilingualism. This refers to rare and endangered world languages (the poetry of peoples of tropical Africa, poetry of native American Indians, poetry in rare European languages such as Rhaeto-Romanic, Breton, Galician and others), the languages of small-numbered nations in Russia. The research should be carried out in collaboration with regional linguists and authors; specialists from different sectors of the Institute could be involved in the research as well. This trend suggests as well further development of the language of poetry (and poetry itself) in rare languages by coordination of efforts of linguists and contemporary poets. A workshop may be set up in the future, that should raise the level of metalinguistic and poetic reflection with the poets writing in rare languages, and eventually stimulate the development of rare languages and the poetic practice. The history and typology of poetic languages of small nations may be compiled as an additional line, including in light of the problem of bilingualism.

4. Comparative and typological study of rhythm and metrics of the world poetry (both classical and modern), construction of a general theory of metrics. To handle this problem, the materials pertaining to significant national poetic traditions and to minor and local poetic practice, are important. The poetry written in rare languages is often created within the framework of typologically rare or even unique versification systems: these systems have not been described for the most languages of Russia; similar metric descriptions may radically change the concept of the formal aspect of the verse.

5. Investigation of the problem of language interaction in the world poetry (in terms of the universal language problems; bilingualism; socio-cultural interaction, including in light of the problem of off-language communication; search of national identity; the generational aspect, etc.).
Theories and practices of poetic translation as a form of cross-language and cross-cultural interaction.

6. The study of poets' metalinguistic reflection in different languages and poetic traditions. Reflection of the philosophy of language at different stages of development of the poetic language.

Organizational forms and practical activities

The Centre of linguistic studies of the world poetry will represent an independent unit of the Institute of Linguistics under the Russian Academy of Sciences. It will not have staff employees, but will be organized on the basis of a group of permanent members and will interact with all units of the Institute of Linguistics and with other academic institutions. It will be a flexible structure implying creation of temporary structures for specific projects coordinated by the Centre. The Centre intends to have broad cooperation with universities, both Russian and international. Institution and coordination of academic-and-research poetry and translation centres at universities (with festivals and seminars), based on the model of European and American universities, may be one of the practical tasks in this sense.

Holding seminars, conferences, forming groups for specific projects. Conducting joint international summer schools and (joint) workshops for young poets and linguists, including for rare languages; critical analysis of texts and translations (master classes are possible); maintaining a web site of the Centre or sites for individual projects, which would include coordination of information on all important linguistic research of the world poetry.

Corpus-based research of poetry; drawing world poetry corpora - both for old and modern poetry. The priority is compiling poetry corpora for such languages as Ukrainian (and for other nations of the former Soviet Union), and for the languages that are of most importance in terms of international and intercultural communication (English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, etc.). Subsequently gradual extension of the volume of world poetry corpora is supposed.

The world practice has not implemented so far such multilingual world-poetry corpora.

Publication of scientific journals, commentaries to texts; compiling anthologies, bilingual editions of modern poetry in different languages, with linguistic comments. Compiling coursebooks and anthologies for secondary and higher educational institutions, based on modern principles of exploring poetics and the poetry language, instead of the outdated historical aspect (including a manual on the language of poetry); institution of awards for development of poetry in rare languages and for linguistic novations in the world poetry (including the Russian poetry).